The constant shift in your role and responsibilities takes getting used to. Just when you think you know what you’re supposed to be doing and you get comfortable with your routine…it changes. That’s part of what keeps it exciting.
Often it’s a vision or idea of how things will look in the future that inspires you to start, and to keep going. So when we started out, we were so focused on ‘the business’ and everything that needs to be done to make it a success, that we never stopped to think about our own personal roles and how, as business owners, they will go through a number of different evolutions. It’s not one job, or title, but 20. Some of those jobs you may love, some you would rather not do and others you wish you did more of but perhaps they’re no longer a requirement. At each stage there are new things to learn, different challenges and massive feelings of inadequacy, but that’s what forces you to grow.
My first role in Nobó was closer to an alchemist than a business owner. It involved hours and hours in our home kitchen; blending, straining, churning, tasting. We knew what we wanted to do – launch a health food brand, create better alternatives, starting by redefining ‘ice cream’. We wanted to create an alternative made from whole foods, healthy plant fats and wholesome ingredients that would not only be dairy free but also free of gums, stabalisers and had to taste as good, or actually better, than traditional ice cream. Our naivety and lack of experience stood to us. As did our determination and belief that it was possible. I loved being hands on and creating something from scractch. There were so many highs and lows, 2 steps forward and 10 back, but what we didn’t realize at the time was that with each failed experiment we were moving closer and closer to achieving what we wanted!
From our home kitchen we moved to a commercial space. There I became a manufacturer, brand builder and seller. Roasting strawberries, toasting almonds, writing blog posts, refining our recipe and selling our goods at 2 weekly farmers markets. We loved our farmers market weekends, early starts and long days but so fulfilling and our customers inspired us to keep going.
Next up on my job spec was logisitics specialist, frozen courier, and sales person. At the time Brian was keeping a roof over our heads holding down a job 4 days a week and selling our ice cream 7 days a week. In the world of a start up 4 + 7 can add up to 7, go figure!
We are still at the very early stages of our start up journey and have been selling our Frozen Goodness for just over 2 years. We are so excited by how it’s been received. It is now stocked in over 800 stores across Ireland, UK and UAE. So in what feels like a short space of time our jobs, responsibilities and weekly priorities have had to change and adjust. We hired our first member of staff and are working on our next product so there are always lots of exciting things on the go.
We are so lucky to be surrounded by a team of amazing people who now help us make our Frozen Goodness and deliver it around the country. This allows us to focus on growing our business, coming up with new ideas and building our brand. Each of these roles is new for us because we’ve never worked in a business at this stage before, and although our vision has never changed, our daily and weekly duties now vary greatly.
It’s an exciting and daunting aspect of running and starting your own business, and something we love. We’re sure they are lots of you who have your own businesses or are starting up, we would love to hear about some of your challenges, learnings or observations?